Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Gov’t Stories, Events

08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

09.25 High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history

09.24 Talking with Strangers: A Journey to the Heart of the Right

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.25 Want to Slow Climate Change? Stop Having Babies

09.24 How to reduce the risks of carmageddon

09.24 Will the Gulf of Mexico Remain a Dumping Ground for Offshore Fracking Waste?

09.24 Existing coal, oil and gas fields will blow carbon budget – study

09.24 Dutch parliament votes to close down country's coal industry

09.24 Canada’s Founding Myths Hold Us Back from Addressing Climate Change

09.24 Trump to Fossil Fuel Execs: 'You Will Like Me So Much'

09.24 Earth Could Reach Critical Climate Threshold in Decade, Scientists Warn [we'll all die if denial idiocracy prevails]

09.23 Soil carbon storage not the climate change fix it was thought, research finds

09.23 The New, New Climate Math: 17 Years to Get Off Fossil Fuels, Or Else

09.23 Tribes Across North America Unite in 'Wall of Opposition' to Alberta Tar Sands

09.23 Air Pollution Is Linked to a Diabetes Marker

09.23 Ratifiying the Paris agreement will be a major step but must be the first of many

09.23 Farming on the edge: the Indian salt producers coping with 48C heat

09.23 100 countries push to phase out potentially disastrous greenhouse gas

09.23 Burger King and KFC called out for lagging behind on antibiotic-free meat

News Media Matters

09.22 What Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t talking about: Policy discussion is missing from the campaign

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.25 Walmart's Sam's Club Scan-and-Go App May Make Cash Registers Obsolete

09.25 Autonomous vehicles could cost America 5 million jobs. What should we do about it?

09.25 How to Cover a Charlatan Like Trump

09.25 A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump

09.25 HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT

09.25 Higher housing prices in blue states may affect presidential election, report says

09.25 Fear of a Female President

09.24 Trump’s Agenda: A Recipe for Civil Unrest

09.24 Channeling Sanders, Clinton Proposes Whopping Billionaire Estate Tax [worldwide normalization of taxes—with full visibility of income and wealth for fairest taxation—must be achieved. Automation is capable of eliminating 45% of jobs NOW, and it will happen rapidly to realize profits.]

09.24 Thousands of Verizon customers are battling data over-limit fees: Money Matters

09.24 HILLARY CLINTON: DEAD-ON COMIC, DULL POLITICIAN

09.22 IACP developed a 10 question survey on pressing criminal justice issues for the 2016 U.S. presidential nominees

09.22 Lies and Lapses on the US Campaign Trail

09.22 Mike Pence, a heartbeat away from the presidency? Now that’s frightening

09.22 Bernie Sanders: The ‘Nation’ Interview

09.22 Whom Should We Blame for Our Deranged Democracy?

09.22 Make the Public Health Insurance Option Central to the 2016 Campaign

09.22 Trump's Giant Conflict of Interest Just Got Bigger

09.22 Meet the Horde of Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and Other Extremist Leaders Endorsing Donald Trump

09.22 Clinton hasn't won over millennials. And no, sexism isn't to blame

09.22 The Trump Foundation: what's known is shocking. We need to know more

Justice Matters

09.21 SEC Probe Called Possible 'Moment of Reckoning' for Exxon's Climate Crimes

09.21 Warren Skewers Wells Fargo CEO for Greed and 'Gutless Leadership' [8:57 C-Span video]

High Crimes?

09.22 Stopping the War on Children

09.21 Russian planes dropped bombs that destroyed UN aid convoy, US officials say

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.23 Carney backs green finance to cut emissions and boost growth

09.23 Helicopter money is back in the air

09.23 Wells Fargo's toxic culture reveals big banks' eight deadly sins

09.21 The Coming European Debt Wars

09.21 TTIP 2.0? New Leak Exposes Threats of Lesser-Known TISA Trade Deal

International

09.25 Panic sweeps Calais camp as refugees await the bulldozers [an “empathy wall” blocks acceptance of children]

09.24 Syria bombings leave 1.75 million without running water in Aleppo [videos]

09.24 Larry Sanders, Bernie's Brother, to Fight for David Cameron's MP Seat

09.24 THE COMING CRISIS IN MOSUL

09.23 Eugene V. Debs and the Urgent Need for a New Anti-War Movement

09.23 A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find [we're all distant cousins]

09.23 Obama Puts Syria at Arm’s Length as Carnage Drags On

09.23 The Best News You Don’t Know

09.22 "Indifferent to Yemen's Misery," Senate Approves Massive Saudi Arms Deal [Cardin and Mikulski voted “Yea”]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington
Newspaper logo

OUTRAGE:

Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington

by DAVE LINDORFF
Even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says impeachment is “off the table,” a sizeable hunk of the American public is hungering for a taste of it.
If the state of Washington ends up passing a joint legislative resolution next month calling on the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it will because 900 people who crammed into Olympia’s Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday evening, and countless others across the state, pushed them into it.

The crowd at the arts center had come to attend an event organized by the Citizens Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney, a local ad hoc citizens’ organization in this little burg that had convinced the local city council to make the 1000-seat auditorium available for a hearing on impeachment.

When I and my two co-speakers, CIA veteran Ray McGovern and former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, came out on the stage, we all felt not like political speakers or authors, but like rock stars. The applause was deafening, not just at the start of the program, but after each speaker’s points were made.

It was clear that even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says impeachment is “off the table,” a sizeable hunk of the American public is hungering for a taste of it.

Washington is one of a group of states where a serious effort is underway to pass joint legislative resolutions that, thanks to Rules of the House penned by Thomas Jefferson and in effect for nearly length of the Republic, would put impeachment back on the table at the House right under Speaker Pelosi’s nose. The significance of the gathering in Olympia is that a freshman senator from Olympia, Eric Oemig, has introduced a bill in the state senate calling for such a resolution. His bill, S6018, is slated to go to a hearing on March 1, to determine whether it can be considered by the full senate, and impeachment activists are planning to have hundreds—perhaps thousands—of backers on hand to make sure it gains committee approval.

“We don’t hear any of our leaders today talking about impeachment,” Oemig told the crowd. “So the fact that the grass roots have built up the way they have is remarkable!”

Oemig brushed aside what he said was a common argument among colleagues in the legislature that impeachment was not the state’s business, and that it would “interfere” with more pressing state matters. Noting that the war in Iraq—one of the key impeachable crimes because of the lies that were used to justify it—is costing hundreds of billions of dollars, Oemig pointed out how many crucial projects affecting Washington State residents were in jeopardy because of lack of federal funding. He noted too that issues like the president’s violation of civil liberties and his abuses of power directly affect citizens of the state. “I don’t think this is a partisan issue,” he said. “Many of my Republican colleagues have grave concerns about some of the Constitutional violations of this administration.”

In my own address, I focused on some key Bush constitutional violations and crimes which I believe are the best arguments to use in convincing conservatives and Republicans of the importance of impeachment. Among these are Bush’s order for the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on American citizens, his use of so-called “signing statements” to invalidate (so far) 1200 laws or parts of laws passed by the Congress, and his authorization of torture. In the first case, I noted that the president has already been declared, by a federal judge, to have committed a felony by violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In the second case, I explained that Bush is claiming—illegally--that the so-called “War” on Terror makes him a commander in chief unfettered by the Constitution, with not just executive, but also legislative and judicial authority—a claim of dictatorial power that has no basis in the Constitution. Finally, I pointed out that in authorizing and failing to punish torture, the president, by making it less likely that enemy fighters will surrender, has been directly causing death and injury among US troops.

The biggest laugh came when I pointed out that failing to impeach Bush over the signing statements issue would mean that the next president—perhaps Hillary—would be able to cite Bush as a precedent and also ignore Congress. “That,” I said, “should put the fear of god into Republicans.”

McGovern told the crowd that the administration had destroyed the CIA, preferring “faith-based” to real, hard-nosed intelligence. With the angry intensity of a man who has given nearly 30 years of service to the government only to see it trashed by a know-nothing, criminal administration, he suggested that impeachment was the best way to bring the War in Iraq to an end and to prevent the launching of yet another illegal war—this time against Iran.

Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega laid out the case that the Bush administration has in essence been a criminal syndicate defrauding the American public on a scale far worse than Enron. Meanwhile, she said, the Congress, the media and the American public have, like the Queens neighbors of stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, averted their eyes from the crime.
De la Vega, a veteran federal prosecutor, and author of a new book, The U.S. v. Bush, which imagines a grand jury investigation and indictment of the president and vice president on a charge of fraud, laid out the case that the Bush administration has in essence been a criminal syndicate defrauding the American public on a scale far worse than Enron. Meanwhile, she said, the Congress, the media and the American public have, like the Queens neighbors of stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, averted their eyes from the crime.

Questions following the three presentations focused on why the Congress has been so unwilling to act to initiate impeachment, and on what the American people can do.

The answer all the speakers gave in one way or another was to organize—to convince neighbors, co-workers and friends of the need to impeach the president, to lobby a cowardly Congress to act, and, most importantly, to help move Sen. Oemig’s bill forward in the Washington Senate and House.

At present, three states, Washington, Vermont and New Mexico, have bills calling for joint impeachment resolutions (other states, including Rhode Island, New Jersey and California, may also see bills submitted). Under Thomas Jefferson’s Rules of the House, any one of those resolutions, if passed and forwarded to the House of Representatives, could start the process of impeachment.

It seems likely that if Washington passed Oemig’s bill (it currently has eight co-sponsors), or if one of the ones moving through the legislatures of Vermont or New Mexico were to pass, the other states might follow suit. As well, representatives in Congress could feel emboldened to submit their own bills of impeachment.

In other words, the dam will burst, and impeachment will be underway.

In Olympia, as 900 fired-up and fed-up citizens left the hall last Tuesday—signing impeachment petitions on the way out—it was clear that the dam had already burst, at least locally.


Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at dlindorff@yahoo.com. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 24, 2007.
 

Public Service Ads: